Browsing by Subject "musiikkitieteen historia"

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  • Tyrväinen, Helena (2015)
    Armas Launis’s interest in the North African Orient was manifest in three of his professional domains: travel writer, musicologist and opera composer. During his stays in Algiers over two winters between 1924 and 1927 in particular, Launis became personally acquainted with the countries of the Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco). My article examines how in each of these professional forms of expression, the immediate, local encounters merge with the discursive practices of European learning in Launis’s representations of Northern Africa.

In a travel book from 1927, containing references to Menemech, Yafil and Bachetarzi, eminent figures of the Arabo-Moorish musical tradition, Launis demonstrates his knowledge and expertise on the Algerian music scene. Written for a wide audience, his observations about popular traditions lack any detailed scholarly apparatus, intentionally so. He expresses respect for the ‘civilisatory mission’ pursued by the French in Northern Africa, and notes the remnants of Roman antiquity, but he also shows an interest in both historical and contemporary tensions between local tribes, nationalities, cultures, and religions. These were later interwoven in his operas Jehudith and Theodora, the latter unfinished.

In 1928, during a period of intensive operatic composition, Launis applied for a position as music teacher at the University of Helsinki, albeit in vain. The topic of his presentation lecture, “Features of Arabo-Moorish music”, met with both approval (Ilmari Krohn) and disapproval (Robert Kajanus). The many points of convergence with an existing article “La musique arabe dans le Maghreb” by Jules Rouanet (1922) were not noticed.

Having settled permanently in Nice in 1930, Launis planned the two operas, Theodora and Jehudith. They exhibit the religious universalism already developed in his earlier operas, but now in a new form, where the composer has become intrigued by the conflicts of the region and the political developments of the time. I examine in particular some of the ethnocentric accents found in Jehudith, relating them to a wider tradition of orientalism in the western operatic tradition.

  • Tyrväinen, Helena Kristina (Sibelius Academy, 2020)
    DocMus Research Publications
    At the moment when musicology gets institutionalised, growing nationalism raises walls that divide the ‘invisible college’ (Christoph Charle). This evolution can lead musicologists towards difficult problems of loyalty. I show in my article what sort of values and interests could in such circumstances unite European musicologists who were part of different nationalities and confessions. My case in point is the friendly relation between two pioneers of university musicology, Finn Ilmari Krohn (1867–1960) and Frenchman Georges Houdard (1860–1913). Its origin can be traced to Paris, July 1900, the moment of the first international congress of music history; it lasted until the death of Houdard. Houdard’s lot was very different from that of versatile Krohn who gained rapidly an international renown while also achieving a national recognition for his musicological contribution. An authority in the domain of research on Gregorian chant, an opponent of the research carried out by the Benedictine monks of Solesmes, Georges Houdard became in spring 1902 professeur libre in the Sorbonne university. His inquiry took him to the heart of an intense disciplinary controversy; he became a victim of violent attacks on behalf of some celebrities of the national and ecclestiastical scenes. Basing on sixteen letters from Houdard to Krohn, I show that a shared Christian world view, a common interest in the past of the musical phenomena, and the pursuit of composition which the two scholars exercised alongside with their research, constituted a solid and warm foundation for their exchange of ideas. Houdard thus entrusted to Krohn e.g., data concerning his lectures at the Sorbonne in 1902–1908. The names Combarieu, Laloy, Dechevrens, Dom Mocquereau and Pius X appear in a somber light in his letters, while those of Fleischer, Gaisser and Schmidt shine bright: we realise how depressing his scientific loneliness in his home country appeared to the French savant.